YES!

yes
I’ve been blogging through the month on the topic of unschooling, or organic learning. Today we focus on the letter Y, say “YES!”

It’s so easy for parents to get stuck in a rut of No.  When we can make a shift in our mindset and begin to say Yes, our world can change. As a part of the deschooling process, we can open our mind to new ways of doing things. If we can just take a moment of pause before replying, and consider the option of Yes.

Parents are the ambassadors for their children in this world. We would love to open up every possibility for them. When we say Yes, this can begin to happen.  If we can’t make something happen for them, we can help them get one step closer. A big aha! moment for me was after Ian died, I didn’t have a schedule to follow, I had no guidelines tying me to anything. I began to say Yes more often, and was open to more opportunities and adventures around me. I tried new things like Zumba and tested my skills at Paddle boarding. I didn’t leave the party early to get home for bedtime, we stayed and we enjoyed ourselves. Sometimes parents say “no” out of habit. When we start to ask ourselves what would happen if I said Yes, we can see new possibilities open up.
There are different ways to say Yes. For example, we went by Target to pick up something this afternoon, Lil’ Z is saving his money to buy the Lego’s Indominous Rex Breakout set. It costs $130. He has been saving his money for quite some time, and he had made it clear that he needs $41. and he will have enough to purchase it. So he picked it up at the store today to show it to me, and he asks if he can get it. I say, “Yes, you are so close to having your money saved up, you should have enough in just a short while.” Then he was so excited about how much he had saved, and was counting down how long it was going to be until he was able have enough.
Another common conversation around here goes like this: “Mom, can we go to the park?” “Yes, I have to finish this work on my computer and make lunch, then we can go.” Yes frames things in a positive light. I am a strict believer that Yes means Yes, and NO means NO. So if I say Yes, I do need to stick to it, and make it happen. However, it doesn’t mean that I live by every whim of my children. We obviously can’t grant every request at that very moment, but we try to make Yes happen as often as possible. A small shift in our mindset can make big things happen.
Have you considered the option of Yes?

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XOXO

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We are almost at the end of the A to Z blogging challenge. I have been writing on the topic of unschooling or organic learning all month. I’ve really enjoyed it. Today is the letter X, we could all use some XOXO’s.

I remember growing up and my mom dropping me off to school. I was always willing to offer a hug and a kiss. On the other hand, my brother was not so eager.He was embarrassed at the idea.  I remember my mom feeling crushed as he got older and he wanted his space from her while walking in the mall. It’s a normal part of growth for children to grow up and associate more with their peers and less with their parents. As they grow into young adults, they are preparing themselves for adulthood. This is a normal part of development that usually happens between 12 and 14 years old. They are building their own identity.

So we have three teenagers, one that loves to hug and hold hands, and the other two.. not so much. Her top love language is physical touch, for sure. So she has always enjoyed snuggles, sitting in my lap, and always wanted to be carried as a child. Now as she is growing up I see her still cuddled up close to her siblings to watch a movie and she always gives us hugs goodnight. It’s important to know what kind of physical touch makes your child feel comfortable.
Knowing how to show affection through physical touch is an important part of parenting. It’s essential to know the right way to show physical affection as kids grow older and are resistant to the old fashioned hug. Step parents also need to learn a new way to show physical affection to their step children. Children that may resist and outright hug and kiss, are often open to a pat on the back or a high five. Playful parenting increases the opportunities for physical touch. Perhaps an arm wrestling challenge or a playful wrestling match in the living room will help everyone feel loved. Timing is important for sharing physical affection with your teens, they may not want a hug in front of their peers, but in the privacy of their home they may welcome it.
When spend most of your day with your children, day in and day out, you have lots of opportunities to see what makes them tick. You can pick up on their idiosyncrasies, and preferences. You can find out their love language and do what it takes to make them feel loved on a daily basis.  I think this is another major benefit of home education, or organic learning. As parents it provides us a daily opportunity to learn about our children.

Worldschooling

 

worldschoolingImagine the idea of the world being your classroom. No four walls to limit your learning. In fact your education wouldn’t start at 8 am and end when the bell rings at 3pm, it would be much longer than that. Now add to that the thrill of being in another part of the world, learning about different cultures and languages, by experiencing them, being immersed in them. That is the idea of worldschooling.

My late husband, Ian, was raised all over the world. He went to school in England and Australia. His mother grew up in Africa and Portugal. His brother lives in Bulgaria. To him the world was an open classroom. He was a worldschooler in many ways. We were able to do a lot of traveling together before he passed. We traveled to Mexico, Portugal, Spain, England. He had high hopes of traveling to China, but he died before those plans were realized. He was so enthralled with learning other cultures and appreciated cultural differences. He seemed at home anywhere he went. I loved that quality about him.
We were able to pass that love of travel onto our daughter Big Z. She was with us for most of those trips abroad. She was a pro at flying and seemed at home exploring different cultures. I was sure I wanted to pass this love of the world to both of my children after their dad died. So the three of us went on adventures and long road trips together. We drove to Canada and visited Niagara Falls. We drove to Vermont and visited family and friends along the way. We enjoyed fantastic foods and met new friends along the way.
Fast forward to several years later, now Poose and I have high hopes of exposing our family to wonderful traveling adventures. Our family regularly takes trips to State Parks to camp and explore. Since Poose and I got married last June we’ve already been to 5 states together as a family. We are planning to do some long term traveling this summer. I am very excited about the possibilities and the adventures that awaits us. It is so wonderful to have found someone that has a shared vision of exploration.
Some families are out there traveling the globe with their children. Some of my favorites are Lainie and Miro in Peru.  I particularly love that she is a single mom. They just finished up doing a TedX talk sharing their experiences. Another is eadventuregirl she has visited 24 countries with her family over a 7 year period. She has a fantastic blog sharing her learning experiences while traveling. They have lots of experience in world travel.  My very close friend has taken this idea to the extremes of the Mexican desert. There she writes about their adventures surviving the many differences of life in Mexico. Her teenage son recently did a video blog of what life was like where they live, HERE. 
I am so in love with the idea of world schooling. I believe it can help children grow to be well rounded, and interesting adults. I think exposing them to different people and different places helps them to be tolerant and open minded. You can’t help but learn when you are exposed to new ideas and new places. I hope you will check back in the future, I plan on writing more about our travels. What places have you visited and what have you learned? What do you think of the idea of worldschooling?